South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has said communities across Dumfries and Galloway are set to benefit from an additional £5.114 million in funding for local services as a result of the Scottish Government’s budget passing Stage 1 this evening (Thursday).
Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems meanwhile failed to support the additional investment – including local Labour councillor and MSP Colin Smyth who voted against the budget, even though it will result in extra funding for his own council.
Ms McAlpine has condemned the approach taken by the three parties, providing opposition for opposition’s sake rather than supporting investment in Dumfries and Galloway.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“This Scottish Government budget provides a strong funding deal for Dumfries and Galloway with an additional £5.114m investment. The budget gives important spending commitments in the NHS, education, infrastructure, environment and the economy.
“But with the exception of the Greens, for the opposition parties to vote against this was deeply disappointing - and clearly against the best interests of our communities.
“Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories seem to be more interested in political point scoring rather than standing up for their local communities. It’s particularly baffling that Labour MSP and local councillor Colin Smyth has voted against extra funds for his own council.
“This was another embarrassing own goal for Labour and the Tories. In recent months funding for local government has been practically the only thing they have agreed on. But for the two of them to join forces in opposing a budget that gives 5.1million MORE to Dumfries and Galloway Council simply beggars belief - and leaves their credibility in tatters.”